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  • Namitha Ragunath

Tuesday 6th October 2020

America

In the United States, Donald Trump tweeted yesterday that he will return to the White House. In that tweet president Trump also told Americans to not “be afraid of COVID”. However the White House Press Secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, announced yesterday that she tested positive for coronavirus. Also yesterday, Trump’s physician, Dr Sean Conley, again declined to say when was the last time Trump tested negative for the coronavirus. This information could help shed light on who he may have been exposed to when he was possibly infected.


“I was trying to reflect the upbeat attitude that the team, the president, that his course of illness has had, and in doing so it came off that we were trying to hide something which isn’t necessarily true.”

In Canada, anti-racism organisations have urged Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to an end to 300 far-right and white supremacist groups in Canada. The open letter, published yesterday by the National Council of Canadian Muslims and signed by Amnesty International, follows the murder of Mohamed-Aslim Zafis on September 12th. Police say Zafis, the caretaker of the mosque, was sitting in a chair when a suspect walked up to him and stabbed him in the neck.


In Venezuelan news, a British appeals court has now overturned a judgment which said the UK recognises the opposition ‘Juan Guaido’ as the Venezuelan president, instead of President Nicolás Maduro. This will affect the legal battle of who controls $1bn (£773m) of gold in the Bank of England.



Europe

In England, health secretary Matt Hancock said yesterday that a technical glitch which caused nearly 16,000 Covid-19 cases to go unreported in England "should have never have happened”.


“On Friday night, Public Health England identified that over the previous 8 days, 15,841 positive test results were not included in the reported daily cases. This was due to of failure in the automated transfer of files from the labs to PHE’s data systems. I want to reassure everyone that every single person who tested positive was told that result in the normal way in the normal time frame. They were told that they needed to self-isolate, which is of course now required by law. However these positive test results were not reported in the public data, and were not transferred to the contact tracing system. I want to thank colleagues who’ve been working since late Friday night through the weekend to resolve this problem.”


In Paris, all bars will be completely shut from today, after the French government raised the city's coronavirus alert to maximum after a rise in infection rates. Bars, gyms, and swimming pools will all be closed for two weeks. But restaurants will remain open if strict hygiene rules are in place.


According to the World Health Organisation, one in 10 people around the world may have contracted Covid-19. Just over 35 million people have been confirmed as being infected with coronavirus - but the World Health Organisation says the real number of cases is closer to 800 million.

Asia

In Kyrgyzstan, opposition supporters are protesting against alleged vote-rigging in Sunday's parliamentary election - where two pro-government parties have won 107 out of the 120 seats. Approximately 3,000 people rallied in the capital’s main square yesterday. Police have used force to break up demonstrators, including stun grenades, tear gas and water cannons. Opposition candidates are calling on the Central Electoral Commission in Kyrgyzstan to cancel the results of the vote.

In the Maldives, a court has sentenced former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb to 20 years in prison for corruption charges. Adeeb, who pleaded guilty last month, was also fined almost $130,000 yesterday. The Maldives Criminal Court charged Adeeb with stealing, money laundering and misuse of government authority among other offences.


In Russia, many dead sea creatures have washed up on the beaches in Kamchatka, in Russia's far east. It is being treated as a major marine pollution incident. Videos and photos posted on social media show dead octopuses, seals and other dead sea life. Local residents who used the Pacific beaches complained of vomiting, fevers, rashes and swollen eyelids. Testing has found oil products in the water. The environmental group Greenpeace has called it "an ecological disaster”.

Africa

In Kenya, three lions have died in the Masai Mara national park after being trapped in snares laid by hunters to try and catch meat. Four hyenas were also killed. The authorities are now clearing the site of other traps and investigating what exactly happened. Following years of poaching and a decline in their natural habitat, there were just 2,000 lions left in Kenya in 2017.

At least eight migrants have drowned and 12 are missing after human smugglers forced them off a boat near Djibouti. 14 migrants survived and are receiving medical care. The migrants are believed to be Ethiopians returning to Africa after failing to reach Saudi Arabia via Yemen due to the COVID-19 border closures. The pandemic and the conflict in Yemen has made the journey to Gulf nations more dangerous, and some migrants have turned back.

And finally, In Israel, there will soon be a ban on ‘immoral’ animal fur trade. The country will ban the buying and selling of animals furs, making it the first country to do so. Under the new rules, permits to buy or sell animal fur will only be allowed for research, education and for religious purposes.

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